Cesar still in his salad days
Cesar Lopez has had a challenging few years.
In January 2020, COVID-19 stopped the 64-year-old from Buenos Aires, Argentina in his tracks. For a man who typically gets up six days a week at 5am. to get out and run, Cesar had to hit the brakes as the virus affected his breathing capacity and overall energy. *
He is now fully recovered but had to build his endurance back up gradually from 100m to running the Buenos Aires Marathon in October, which he completed “without pressure, just enjoying every moment.”
Like many, his joy of running took some time to develop. During his time in the military academy, Cesar began running. Initially as an 18-year-old, he was not a fan.
“I didn't enjoy it as it was compulsory. What motivated me to take up the sport again was an advert for the Cruce de los Andes, a trail race that lasts three days that had the most incredible images. It made me think to myself, 'that's what I want to do,' so I ran it in for the first time in 2012 and I haven't stopped running since.”
His Six Star journey began in 2018 when he ran the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. “As I walked to the starting point, some other runners approached me and asked: ‘with this race, how many Majors do you have?’ I didn't know what they were talking about, so I asked and they politely explained it to me.
“Later when I got home, I did some research and since then I've been wanting to achieve all six Majors. This is my main running motivation right now as that medal will represent years of training and hard work.”
In addition to the Chicago Marathon, Cesar has now completed New York City, London and Berlin. He is just two stars away from his dream.
COVID hasn’t been Cesar’s only hurdle. He suffers from hypothyroidism and osteoarthritis in his knees.
The latter causes him some pain but he explains: “Running makes me feel younger and my health issues motivate me to lead a healthy life. Running really affects my mood – it makes me feel alive, happy and healthy! I also want to be the best role model I can be for my two daughters.”
With a day job in financial administration, Cesar follows a strict schedule to get his workouts done.
“Every day, other than Wednesdays which is my rest day, I wake at 5am to train. I vary my goals each week and tend to run between 50-90 km each week. After work, I am quite exhausted so I go to sleep quite early and do it all again the next day.”
“Persistence and making a conscious choice to run keeps me on track. While nothing is certain, everything is possible, you just need determination and to not listen to the resistance in your brain that is keeping you in your comfort zone.”
And he has some words of advice for anyone struggling the get out of that comfort zone.
“For those who believe they cannot achieve something, look at this 64-year-old man! Despite suffering from several health issues, I still get up to train and feel so good for getting out there. It really is the best way to stay strong, healthy and be able to face life in the best mood possible.
“Go on a walk. Turn a walk into a jog, join a running group and find what makes you happy.”
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- Always consult a physician and get a full health evaluation prior to marathon training. Even if athletes appear healthy after treatment or surgery, or to have a disorder under control, underlying medical conditions could exist.
- Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism means that the thyroid gland can’t make enough thyroid hormone to keep the body running normally. People are hypothyroid if they have too little thyroid hormone in the blood. Common causes are autoimmune disease, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, surgical removal of the thyroid, and radiation treatment. (Hoang, Than D, and henry Burch. “Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid).” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Mar. 2021
- Osteoarthritis is a joint disease in which the tissues in the joint break down over time. It is the most common type of arthritis and is more common in older people. (“NIAMS Health Information on Osteoarthritis.” National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 22 Feb. 2021).